Background: Cortical ischemic lesions represent the predominant pathomorphological pattern of focal lesions after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). Autopsy studies suggest that they occur adjacent to subarachnoid blood and are related to spasm of small cortical rather than proximal arteries. Recent clinical monitoring studies showed that cortical spreading depolarizations, which induce cortical arterial spasms, are involved in lesion development. If subarachnoid blood induces adjacent cortical lesions, it would be expected that (i) they also develop after traumatic subarachnoid hemorrhage (tSAH), and (ii) lesions after tSAH can occur in absence of angiographic vasospasm, as was found for aSAH. Case presentation: An 86-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital with fluctuating consciousness after hitting her head during a fall. The initial computed tomography (CT) was significant for tSAH in cortical sulci. On day 8, the patient experienced a secondary neurological deterioration with reduced consciousness and global aphasia. Whereas the CT scan on day 9 was still unremarkable, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on day 10 revealed new cortical laminar infarcts adjacent to sulcal blood clots. Proximal vasospasm was ruled out using MR and CT angiography and Doppler sonography. CT on day 14 confirmed the delayed infarcts. Conclusions: We describe a case of delayed cortical infarcts around sulcal blood clots after tSAH in the absence of proximal vasospasm, similar to results found previously for aSAH. As for aSAH, this case suggests that assessment of angiographic vasospasm is not sufficient to screen for risk of delayed infarcts after tSAH. Electrocorticography is suggested as a complementary method to monitor the hypothesized mechanism of spreading depolarizations.